Election Fraud Cases

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State Year Name Case Type Fraud Type Details
StateIndianaYear2016NameLowell "Ross" ColenCase TypeCriminal ConvictionFraud TypeFraudulent Use Of Absentee BallotsDetails

Lowell "Ross" Colen, a 10-year veteran of the Rising Sun Police Department, was forced to resign after pleading guilty to four counts of felony voter fraud. Colen was accused of illegally trying to help his father win election to the Rising Sun City Council by completing absentee voter applications and filling out ballots for people who were not eligible to vote in the county, and in some cases forging signatures. Colen evidently conducted some of this illegal activity while in uniform and on duty. He pleaded guilty to four counts of felony vote fraud and was sentenced to concurrently serve one year in prison and 185 days' probation.

StateIndianaYear2013NameButch Morgan, Jr.Case TypeCriminal ConvictionFraud TypeBallot Petition FraudDetails

Former St. Joseph County Democratic Chairman Butch Morgan, Jr. was sentenced to one year of prison after being convicted of felony charges stemming from a plot to forge signatures on the petition to place Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton on the Indiana Democratic Primary ballot in 2008. Morgan, along with multiple co-conspirators from the Board of Voter Registration, forged over 200 signatures. A Yale University junior, Ryan Nees, discovered the fraud, noting "page after page of signatures are all the same handwriting." The forgery was overlooked during the primary process "because election workers in charge of verifying their validity were the same people faking the signatures."

StateIndianaYear2013NamePam Brunette, Beverly Shelton, Dustin…Case TypeCriminal ConvictionFraud TypeBallot Petition FraudDetails

Pam Brunette, Beverly Shelton, and Dustin Blythe worked with Butch Morgan (see prior entry) to forge over 200 signatures on the petition to enter Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton into the Indiana Democratic Primary. A Yale University junior, Ryan Nees, discovered the fraud, noting "page after page of signatures are all the same handwriting." The forgery was overlooked during the primary process "because election workers in charge of verifying their validity were the same people faking the signatures." Brunette, a board member on the St. Joseph County Board of Voter Registration Democratic, and Shelton, a board worker, both received two years of probation in exchange for their testimony against Morgan. The judge sentenced Dustin Blythe, a board worker and Democrat volunteer, to one year in Community Corrections and probation.

StateIndianaYear2013NameDoug CampbellCase TypeCriminal ConvictionFraud TypeFraudulent Use Of Absentee BallotsDetails

Austin Mayor Doug Campbell faced voter fraud charges that he illegally accepted absentee ballots from voters and filled out a woman's incomplete ballot. He pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor electioneering in exchange for prosecutors agreeing to dismiss the felony voter fraud and conspiracy charges, which enabled him to remain in office.

StateIndianaYear2013NamePaul EtheridgeCase TypeCriminal ConvictionFraud TypeFraudulent Use Of Absentee BallotsDetails

Paul Etheridge, former New Albany mayoral candidate in the Democratic primary, was charged with voter fraud for endorsing a ballot of someone he knew to be ineligible in the May 2011 Democratic mayoral primary in New Albany, Indiana. He pleaded guilty to Forgery of Official Ballot Endorsement and received a suspended 18-month sentence.

StateIndianaYear2013NameMichael MarshallCase TypeCriminal ConvictionFraud TypeFraudulent Use Of Absentee BallotsDetails

Michael Marshall, a Jennings County Democratic Party worker, pleaded guilty to three counts of vote fraud relating to applications for absentee ballots for his son, brother, and former roommate. Marshall was sentenced to 18 months in prison.

StateIndianaYear2012NameJohn CookCase TypeCriminal ConvictionFraud TypeFraudulent Use Of Absentee BallotsDetails

John Cook, of Jennings County, pleaded guilty to perjury after he was arrested in connection with absentee ballot fraud. He was sentenced to 545 days' imprisonment, with one year of that time suspended.

StateIndianaYear2012NameJoshua ClemonsCase TypeCriminal ConvictionFraud TypeFraudulent Use Of Absentee BallotsDetails

Joshua Clemons was charged with voter fraud for completing two absentee ballots for people he knew to be ineligible in the May 2011 Democratic Primary. He pleaded guilty to fraudulent delivery of ballots and received a suspended 18-month sentence.

StateIndianaYear2012NameChristopher MarshallCase TypeCriminal ConvictionFraud TypeFraudulent Use Of Absentee BallotsDetails

Christopher Marshall, of Jennings County, pleaded guilty to deception in a case involving absentee ballot fraud. His father, Michael Marshall, was working on a mayoral re-election campaign and was responsible for soliciting absentee ballot voters. He recruited his son and another individual (John Cook) to assist him. Christopher Marshall was ordered to pay court costs and fees, a fine, and restitution totaling $212.

StateIndianaYear2012NameCharlie WhiteCase TypeCriminal ConvictionFraud TypeFalse RegistrationsDetails

Former Indiana Secretary of State Charlie White was removed from office following his 2012 felony conviction. White, who was serving as a councilman for the town of Fishers at the time, listed his ex-wife's home address as his primary residency so he could vote and be paid as a councilman in a district where he no longer resided. In addition to losing his office, White was sentenced to one year of house arrest, and was ordered to pay a $1,000 fine and complete 30 hours of community service.

StateIndianaYear2011NameMonte MurphyCase TypeCriminal ConvictionFraud TypeFraudulent Use Of Absentee BallotsDetails

Monte Murphy, a former Muncie City Councilman, was convicted of three counts of illegally receiving absentee ballots following a jury trial. He provided the ballots to the individuals, told them how to vote for a straight Democrat ticket, and then mailed in the ballots for them. The trial court reduced each conviction to a Class A misdemeanor and sentenced Monte to consecutive one-year terms, suspended to probation.

StateIndianaYear2008NameBrian BerkmanCase TypeCriminal ConvictionFraud TypeFalse RegistrationsDetails

Former Schereville Town Court Bailiff Brian Berkman was convicted of voting in another precinct and perjury during the 2003 East Chicago Democratic mayoral primary. He was sentenced to one year of probation. Fraud in this 2003 mayoral primary was widespread, and the Indiana Supreme Court ultimately overturned the election results and ordered a special election that resulted in a different winner.

StateIndianaYear2008NameNatividad HernandezCase TypeCriminal ConvictionFraud TypeMiscellaneousDetails

Natividad Hernandez pleaded guilty to unauthorized entry at the polls during the 2003 East Chicago Democratic mayoral primary election. Fraud in this 2003 mayoral primary was widespread, and the Indiana Supreme Court ultimately overturned the election results and ordered a special election that resulted in a different winner.

StateIndianaYear2008NameChristopher and Michael LopezCase TypeCriminal ConvictionFraud TypeFalse RegistrationsDetails

Christopher and Michael Lopez pleaded guilty to unauthorized entry into the polls. The brothers voted in a precinct where they did not live during the 2003 East Chicago mayoral Democratic primary. Each man received a suspended 60-day jail sentence. Fraud in this 2003 mayoral primary was widespread, and the Indiana Supreme Court ultimately overturned the election results and ordered a special election that resulted in a different winner.

StateIndianaYear2008NameJoseph Pedraza and Constance D. Simmons…Case TypeCriminal ConvictionFraud TypeFalse RegistrationsDetails

Joseph Pedraza and his wife, Constance D. Simmons-Pedraza, pleaded guilty to voting in a precinct where they did not live for the 2003 East Chicago mayoral Democratic primary election. They falsely claimed residence in East Chicago so that they could vote there, but city employment records revealed that they actually lived in the town of St. John. Both were sentenced to one year in prison, a sentence which will be suspended if they each satisfactorily complete one year on probation. Fraud in this 2003 mayoral primary was widespread, and the Indiana Supreme Court ultimately overturned the election results and ordered a special election that resulted in a different winner.